James Campion, Saturation Point
, 2015, About Low Rise, 2014, oil and mixed media on canvas, 90 x 120 x 5cm
“With its relatively casually applied paint, awkward semi-illusory depiction, and use of craft material string, it seems at first rather unkempt. However, this is a ruse to disguise an underlying virtuosity in Clark’s colour structuring. He uses collaged sections of patterned ’70s wallpaper to act as a starting point for his colour palette. Oranges and lime greens are echoed, and then harmonised with purple. These colours are then laid out in a very considered fashion, to play off each other and move the eye in a certain way. There seem to be three stages.The box-like structures are coloured with the collage in mind; the bean-like shapes follow the boxes, and finally, and most understated, the little splashes and smears on the string sit casually - as if by accident, but serving perfectly to accent the larger planes of colour.
It is interesting to observe (on the artist's website) that his other works lean more towards the figurative, depicting poolside scenes, for example, although he has used the same strategy for the colour structure. To observe this applied to different source material, and yet achieving results in a consistent style, emphasises the sophistication of this format.
Clark’s Low Rise had a particular impact on me, because my assessment changed so much after studying it ‘in the flesh’. Without wishing to state the obvious, this show demands live perusal; each work has visual characteristics that are obscured in photographs, and cannot be appreciated without live viewing.”